Archive for Digital Organization
Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to conduct a workshop on organization (one of my passions obviously) at Lowe Chiropractic and Wellness. I had a few weeks to prepare for the topic “Organizing for Less Stress”. The topic made me rethink why I promote organization and productivity.
Why get organized? I came up with 4 big reasons.
- Free Your Mind for Creativity
- Free Your Calendar for Opportunities
- Free Your Life for the Important
- Free Your Home for the Essential
Second Question- How to get organized?
I broke it down into 3 areas which you can start working on today.
This is a simplistic cliff notes version, but it may be just enough to get you to act and not enough to overwhelm you into inaction.
Your Physical Space
Physical clutter leads to Mental clutter so use the Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerize, Assess system to rid your home, office, business and life of clutter.
Once you have removed the debris and cloudiness from your life, put things back in their home when you’re finished using them. If you fail here, you’ll be back at the previous step far too often. These two steps will renew your focus like you would not believe.
The label maker is your friend. Don’t rely on your memory. Label things to make them easier to locate.
When creating habits centered around your new found organization, do not lie to yourself and break commitments with yourself continually. When you break your word to yourself you’re putting yet another obstacle between you and a changed habit.
Getting Things Done
Learn how to master ubiquitous capture made famous by David Allen’s GTD book and training. Instead of letting thoughts, ideas, tasks, notes and projects fester in your mind, or even worse losing some of them; capture these thoughts in a system- preferably the GTD system. Get those open loops out of your head. They are holding you in bondage anyway.
Implement the someday/maybe tickler system. For example:
- Someday/Maybe books to read
- Someday/Maybe trips to take
- Someday/Maybe advertising options
- Someday/Maybe events to attend
Don’t let these someday/maybes hog the space that belongs to your next most important actions or your key project lists and plans. Keep them in their own little system and review then as part of your weekly review.Use physical file folder, use Backpack or use a simple text file; the tool doesn’t matter as much as the system itself.
Do the aforementioned weekly review. Take 2-4 hours each week and scan every placeholder or collection bucket in your system. Follow David Allen’s flowchart in his book. You’ll have to buy it or visit his website to see if it’s referenced there.
Pareto Principle- apply the 80/20 rule liberally to your life, home and business. It’s a great liberator.
Batching-let those routine tasks with high startup times accumulate and do them at a set time.
Parkinson’s Law-a task or project will contract or expand based on the amount of time you allow for it. Put this to work for you by planning time and projects tightly.
Elimination- say no and get rid of more stuff.
Outsourcing- find ways to delegate some of what you do to others for less per hour. Virtual assistants and outsourcing services come to mind.
Routine-makes somethings part of a daily, weekly or monthly routine. Similar to batching yet different. The credits here go to the 4 hour workweek.
If I had it do to all over again this past year, here is what I would do.
As a caveat, everything I post will be antiquated simultaneously when I hit the publish button.
Things change so fast right now on the web. You have to balance picking a point to stake out your ground and keeping an eye open for the really good stuff that comes out. The stuff you just can’t afford to ignore.
So, here is what I would have done this past year. I would have purchased a domain with my company name for a brochure type website. Maybe something done by someone with some good CSS skills and graphic design experience. I wasted weeks on this.
I would have purchased a catchier, snarky, simpler, unique domain to host a WordPress blog connected to the main website. I would never update the brochure site. I would update the WordPress site daily with great content.
I would have started every other blog on WordPress using ithemes theme club.
I would have used Tumblr to set up my personal blog.
I would use to Squidoo to organize and create any other information like sales pages, info pages, free reports, how to pages and basically everything else. I would have purchased less domain names and devoted more time to developing the ones I had.
I would have used Twitter more often and sooner. I would have used Twitter more often and sooner. I would have used Twitter more often and sooner.
I would have come up with a turnkey way to take pictures, shoot videos, edit them, upload them and share them. In other words I would have purchased a MAC book much sooner that I did.
I would make sure I had every website and blog and Squidoo lens linked back and forth to the others.
I would balance these endeavors the best I could while staying productive and getting things done.
I just bought a MAC about 3 months ago. So I’m not going to pretend to tell you how to organize a MAC. I am quite the amateur on a MAC. I am getting much better and learning a lot each day-so much so that sometimes I feel less comfortable working on my PC.
Still all that being said- if you read this blog and if you don’t have time to keep up with productivity type blogs, then here are a few links to get you started organizing and optimizing you MAC.
Merlin Mann takes you on a tour of his Menu bar and desktop on the MAC.
Lifehacker’s top 10 things you forgot your MAC could do.
Lifehacker’s guide for switching to a MAC.